Honeypot Honeymoon Handbook: 7 top things to do in Buenos Aires

The Honeypot team have been busy bees travelling the world recently, and while most of those trips haven’t been honeymoons, we’ve picked up a few tips along the way. Today, we take a look at what to do in the “Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires – and how to make it a honeymoon you’ll look back on fondly for the rest of your lives.

1.Take a free walking tour or two

This was one of the first things we did in Buenos Aires, and one of the best things to do! Taking a free walking tour (disclaimer: they’re not actually free, but you tip what you think it’s worth rather than paying a set fee upfront) is a fantastic way of getting an understanding of the history and culture of the city.

We ended up doing two – one from the Teatro Colon to the Recoleta Cemetery, which focused more on the culture of the city, and one around the centre of the city, which ended in the Plaza de Mayo outside the Casa Rosada, and focused more on the politics and history of Buenos Aires. They meant that, wherever we went, we had great context for what things meant and the impact they’d had on the city – way more interesting!

Just don’t book too much in afterwards – your feet might end up rather sore!

Buenos Aires things to do - Casa Rosada

2. Learn the language

I was pretty lucky in that I had studied Spanish at uni (although it was fairly rusty!) but Matt said that he wished he’d learned a little before coming – not only did it mean I could order our meals more easily, it also meant I got to have some cool conversations with taxi drivers and other locals that he didn’t get to be part of except for my translation. Do definitely brush up on your Spanish before heading over!

Buenos Aires honeymoon Spanish language

3. Go to a milonga (but take a tango class first!)

Everyone knows that Buenos Aires is famous for the tango, and a milonga shows off just how engrained tango is in the culture. We went along to one at Las Manzanas de las Luces, which is only open on a Friday night – it’s basically a community hall where well over a hundred people come each week to dance tango together. It’s just lovely to see how everyone (young and old!) comes together to dance the tango.

A word of warning though – pop along earlier (I believe around 7 or 8) for the tango class so you can pick up the basics. You’ll feel a little lost and probably not too keen to join in on the crowded dance floor if you don’t know how to do the moves, but if you get out there it’s a pretty romantic way to experience Argentinian culture together.

Tango at a milonga, Buenos Aires honeymoon

4. Pop across to Uruguay

Coming from NZ, the thought of getting to another country in just an hour is pretty astonishing, but it’s super easy to hop onto the ferry across to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Grab your tickets the day before from the Seacat store near Galerias Pacificos and you’ll be all set.

Colonia del Sacramento is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is such a gorgeous glimpse into the past. Just don’t be surprised if it feels a bit like a ghost town before 10am. Take advantage of feeling like you have the town to yourselves by spending the time exploring together.

Colonia del Sacramento Uruguay

5. Hit the markets

The San Telmo markets are the most famous (and biggest!) markets in Buenos Aires, and are well worth it. Open on a Sunday, they stretch all the way from a block past the Plaza de Mayo right down to several blocks past the Plaza Dorrego, which is the heart of the original market. You’ll discover antiques, unique crafts, lots of food options, and entertainment galore, which makes it a really delightful day out. Just be aware that your other half may not enjoy browsing for QUITE as long as you do 😛

San Telmo markets Buenos Aires honeymoon

6. Visit the world’s prettiest bookstore

Perhaps if you’re not quite as much of a theatre or book nerd as I am it might not have quite the same impact, but it’s worth a visit anyway – the El Avaneo Grand Spectacular is truly the most amazing bookstore I’ve ever seen in my life. Set in an old theatre, walking in and seeing all the balconies filled with books is just unbelievably beautiful. There’s even a café inside so you can sit and enjoy the view (and a Dulce de Leche milkshake – get one each!)

El Ateneo bookstore Buenos Aires honeymoon

7. Go Evita hunting

Our knowledge of Eva Peron was pretty much restricted to the musical Evita and one paper I’d done at uni on Argentinian history that I barely remember, but after visiting Buenos Aires, we felt well educated. It was super interesting to discover just how torn the nation still is about whether Eva Peron was a saint or the worst person in the world, and you could see signs of that everywhere. From the fresh offerings that still get left at her grave in Recoleta Cemetery and the museum dedicated to her life, to the graffiti insulting the Peronists, it’s one of the most interesting – and prevalent – parts of Argentine history.

But if you’re a fan of the musical, I will warn you – there’s no stopping “What’s new, Buenos Aires?” constantly going through your head while you visit.
IMG_1845 (1)

So that’s our guide to the best things to do while honeymooning in (or just visiting!) Buenos Aires – it is seriously one of the coolest cities I’ve been to and is pretty damn romantic if you find the right spots. Just turn and whisper in your new spouse’s ear “Te quiero” and you’re all set!

To get your dream honeymoon in Buenos Aires (and beyond!) instead of traditional gifts, create your own customised honeymoon registry right here at Honeypot – get started now.

One year (and 6 months) of being married – a husband reflects!

The Honeypot blog tends to be a bit female-heavy on perspective, so we pulled in our resident guy, Shane to give his thoughts on what changed – and what didn’t – after getting married.

This blog was initially going to be “one year of being married” but since deadlines aren’t my friend, it’s now 18 months later. Whoops!

So here we go – a guy’s thoughts on marriage 18 months after our wedding:

Some things were very different

Calling Katie my “wife” was very odd. Being engaged for just under 18 months before the wedding, I barely had time to adjust to “fiancée” before upgrading to “wife”. So for about 3 months after the wedding, I said things like “my girl f—, fia—, wife(!) Katie…”. And don’t get me started on the number of forms I had to scribble on after ticking “de facto” instead of “married”…

Then there was the ring – I never wear jewellery, not even a watch, so suddenly wearing a ring was a big deal. I noticed it all the time. It made my hand heavy, it clicked and bumped things, it was strangling my finger. It’s less noticeable now but I still don’t often wear it around the house only put it on when I leave the house (like shoes) or when people come around (like pants).

Some things never change

Life goes on – bills needed to be paid, food needed to be bought, Netflix needed to be watched. After this big hype of the wedding and the honeymoon, where everything pretty much got put on hold, within a week everything else in our lives just went straight back to normal.

What’s more, Katie was still the same person – she didn’t suddenly become the “old ball and chain” (a cringeworthy phrase) or some homemaker housewife. She still left open olive jars on the kitchen bench and I still didn’t make the bed before going to work. We still laughed and argued about the same dumb things.

We suddenly had money again

Weddings are expensive. Most the money related matters leading up to the “big day” (and by that, I mean the day before the wedding when all the suppliers needed to be paid in full!) involved sticking to our budget and saving extra money where possible. But now, we’ve got money again! Suddenly payday meant there was disposable income!

I didn’t know what to do next

A weird feeling I had for a bit after the wedding was emptiness of purpose. We’d spent just over a year focusing all our time and energy on planning a wedding (and launching Honeypot!) that afterwards I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do. It was more that I could do a whole number of things but had taken a year hiatus from thinking about them.

Funnily enough, the practice we had budgeting, planning and saving for the wedding was very handy. We ended up applying for 2-year working visas and moving over to the UK for our OE.

The “kids” discussion

Apparently there’s a social script that suddenly starts running when you get married (and don’t already have progeny) and it dances around the innocent query of a particular time frame. Most people navigate the “so… kids..?” questions subtly enough, but there others who are (a) more bothersome (siblings), (b) have less shame (parents), or (c) aren’t good at nonchalant (grandparents).

My current response is we’re getting a puppy first.

So the wedding was a big, stressful, exciting, one-off event but 18 months later? A lot of stuff changed, a lot of stuff stayed the same. Some things happened and some things didn’t happen. All in all, it feels a lot like just getting on and living life. Just now it’s with my wife beside me instead of my girlfriend!

Your registry, your way: New features for your wedding registry

Well, it’s been over a year since Honeypot launched, and what a year it’s been! As we come into our second wedding season, it’s so exciting to see how many happy couples have used Honeypot for their dream honeymoons or to fill their homes with special items that they absolutely love.

Now, we’re excited to offer a couple of new features based on the feedback we’ve been getting from you. They’re set to make Honeypot even more flexible and customisable than it was before.

So what’s new?

Customised URLs

You ask; we provide! Several Honeypotters asked if they could make their own URL so that they could include it in their invites or on their wedding website and send people directly to their registry instead of to the homepage. Now you can! When you’re setting up your registry, simply choose the name you want and you’ve got a personalised URL to share with your guests.

Open-ended items

So many couples have been amazed by the generosity of their guests. In fact, some guests have given so much that the gifts the couples included in their registry were fully gifted well before the wedding and they had to add extra items. To save you from needing to keep adding extra items, we’re now giving you the ability to create unlimited items.

Whether a general “honeymoon food fund” or “post-wedding date night treasury”, you now have the ability to make any item unlimited. Once the other items get filled up, guests can keep adding to a more general fund. To make it more personal, why not ask them to suggest what you should do with the money? A place to eat or a date night idea?

As you’re setting up the item, just tick the box that says ‘Open Ended’ and guests will be able to keep giving as much as they like towards that item right up until your registry closes!

Last opportunity for a lower price

One other thing that’s changing is the price for using Honeypot.

You see, as is often the case with new businesses, we realised that we didn’t quite get the pricing right – and because we want to be able to keep investing in the platform and updating it in the ways that our awesome customers have been asking for, we will be raising the price to a flat fee of only $150 (NZD) from 8 October 2017.

So what does that mean for you?

Luckily, not too much! So long as you go live by 7 October, you’ll still pay our old price of $130. You’ll still get to create your own customised registry with all the items you want – and your guests will still get to feel like they’re giving you the perfect gift.

PLUS because we’ve already launched our new features, you’ll get to take advantage of them without paying any more than you would have before now.

So are you ready to get your registry up and running? Get started now.

The Fine Print: Legal Requirements for a NZ Wedding

With all the planning, advice and decisions surrounding a wedding, sometimes we forget that there are certain legal requirements for any ceremony. I heard a story recently about a couple living in Australia who planned to marry in New Zealand. They, unfortunately, assumed their Australian celebrant friend could officiate at their wedding, and since this isn’t the case had postpone their ceremony at the last minute and go to a registry office! To help you avoid this scenario, I enlisted the help of our fabulous celebrant Desiree Mason. Whether you’re having a traditional church wedding or getting married on top of a mountain(!), all New Zealand weddings must include the following:

An officiant

In New Zealand, there are two legal ways to get married – through a registered celebrant like Desiree, or through the registry office. Wedding celebrants can be secular or religious (e.g. a pastor), as long as they are registered in New Zealand. Desiree must ensure that her registration is updated regularly.

A marriage license

This must be obtained at least three days before the planned ceremony. If you have a great celebrant like Desiree, they will probably ask you to organise it earlier so they can fill in the details in advance. You can download the application form here. You will need to know some details of the ceremony in order to complete the form, such as the location, date and celebrant. After sending the form off, you will be posted a marriage license and two versions of the “Copy of Particulars of Marriage,” all of which should be sent to your celebrant. According to Desiree, her obligations include: “formally identifying the couple on the marriage licence as the people that I am marrying, sighting the licence before the ceremony to ensure that the details are correct and holding the ceremony at one of the places named on the licence.”

A wedding ceremony

Your ceremony can include almost anything you like, but there are some “must-haves”. Desiree says as a celebrant, “I need to use the couple’s full names at least once in the ceremony and ensure that the couple says ‘I (full name) take you (partner’s name) to be my legal wife/husband’ sometime during the ceremony”. There must be two witnesses to the ceremony who must not be intoxicated and are able to understand what is happening. If the witnesses do not speak English, then an interpreter is required. The interpreter needs to sign a statutory declaration before the ceremony saying that they will interpret what is said accurately.

Signing the wedding registry (not the Honeypot kind!)

This usually happens straight after the ceremony, and involves the couple and witnesses signing the two versions of the “Copy of Particulars” at the ceremony. According to Desiree, the couple must use their pre-wedding signatures. The celebrant will send off one copy to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 10 days of the ceremony, and the second copy will be given to the couple.

Of course, a good celebrant’s role includes far more than the minimum legal requirements. When we got married, Desiree’s planning advice was invaluable and she works really hard to understand the couple on a personal level. Keep an eye out later in the year when we’ll be profiling Desiree as part of a “Wedding Expert” blog series. Until then, happy wedding planning!

How to pack for a honeymoon of many climates

If your dream honeymoon consists of weeks lounging by the beach in Fiji, then packing should be fairly simple – who needs much more than a bathing suit when you’re by the beach the whole time? But if your honeymoon is likely to be a bit more widespread, you might need to prepare yourself for a few different climates – and that’s where we come in.

While prepping for a trip to South America that’s likely to take in three very different environments, we thought we’d put together our very own Honeypot packing guide for a ‘honeymoon of many climates’!

Layer, layer, layer

When it comes to clothes, think multi-use clothes that you can layer to cope with differing temperatures.

Packing cubes for clothes in South AmericaEach of you should bring:

  • 7 x underwear
  • 7 x socks – a mix of ankle, crew cut, or warmer
  • 5-6 x t-shirts or tank tops (or add another if you’re fairly sweaty!)
  • 2 x long sleeve tops (merino works well)
  • 1 x shorts
  • 1 x jeans
  • 1 x track pants or leggings (you’ll be pleased when you’re keen to relax in the evenings!)
  • 1 x bathing suit/board shorts
  • 1-2 x cardigan or lighter jacket
  • 1 x fleece or puffer jacket (at least for those of us who get cold easily!)
  • 1 x light windproof raincoat
  • 1 x pair of flip flops
  • 1 x sneakers/walking shoes
  • 1 x nicer shoes
  • Hat (preferably one that can fold up small)

 

Toiletries

This one’s probably the most subjective – I only use a few basic things but am very picky about which ones I use, so I hate when people say “just use the little ones from hotels” (no-one wants to see how greasy my hair gets a day after using those!)

I’d suggest getting a few cheap travel bottles (K-mart all the way!) and filling them up with your faves instead. This is what I’ve packed:

  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Toothpaste & brush
  • Contacts & solution (plus eye drops – man my eyes get dry when travelling!)
  • Face wash & moisturiser (or just face wipes if you’re a little lazier)
  • Razor & exfoliating glove (no-one wants an ingrown hair while travelling…)
  • Laundry wash (for hand washing clothes along the way – no-one likes a stinky travel companion!)
  • Sunscreen & insect repellent (especially important for those of us whose blood is apparently irresistible to mosquitos…)
  • Back up pads or tampons (of course you’ll always be able to find them, but bring a couple just in case you get stuck on a flight or train!)
  • Rehydration sachets, altitude sickness pills etc. (whatever your travel doctor suggests for where you’re going)
  • Mini first aid kit (just some plasters, antiseptic wipes, panadol and a few other essentials)

 

Travel tools

img_9805.jpgI’m a bit of a sucker for awesome travel gadgets, but I try control myself to just the essentials (well, what I see as essentials anyway!) – so here are a few of my favourites:

  • A good travel pillow (we just got some new ones off Kickstarter that you can use several ways and I’m very excited to actually get some sleep on this flight!)
  • Your device of choice (I swear my Kindle’s the best thing that ever happened to my travelling, while my man’s Nintendo Switch is his go-to. Either way, make sure you’ve got something to keep you entertained on those long flights and train trips!)
  • Universal power adaptor (it turns out it’s pretty hard to find convertors for anywhere that isn’t the US, UK, or Europe, so a universal convertor can be pretty damn handy!)
  • Headphone splitter (for some reason I seem to have collected a few of these for free, but they’re super handy. It means you can watch stuff on your phone or tablet together – without having to live with only one headphone each!)
  • Packing cubes (these are my new favourite things and mean you don’t have to pack and unpack constantly to find what you’re looking for)
  • Money belts (I know, they feel weird and look lame, but I feel so much more comfortable knowing that my passport and most of my money is safely held against my body and I can cover it up so no-one sees it’s there)

 

The official stuff

Of course, then there’s the boring but necessary stuff:

  • Passports
  • Tickets/itinerary
  • Travel insurance details & contact number
  • Local currency (or a lot of US dollars in places like South America – they’re just as useful)
  • Credit card or back up monetary access (preferably with an RFID envelope to protect scanning – whoever thought paywave was a secure way of transacting is slightly crazy in my mind)

Pro tip: Make sure you’ve got scans of all your details saved in Google Drive/Dropbox or your email so you can access them wherever you are in case anything goes missing.

 

So that’s it – my packing list for a trip around South America with my man. Should be helpful for any honeymoon or couples trip taking in a few different climates, or for anyone who is a bit of a nerd like me and likes to make a checklist of everything well in advance (yes, I did start packing weeks beforehand).

Keen to go on your dream honeymoon? Why not ask for parts of it in your Honeypot registry? Get started here.

How to get in shape for your wedding – the groom’s guide

Following our last blog on bridal fitness, we caught up with Damian Rabaud from Alpha Genesis for his groom’s guide to looking awesome in a tux for your big day. 

Tailor your body to help your tailor

The key to a groom looking great in their tux starts in the fit of the tailoring. Strong lines (the fit of the tux) should fit nicely across the shoulders and taper into the waist line. However, meet your tailor half way by having those features to begin with – that way the tailoring will enhance them even more.

How? You’ll need to build up that classic V-taper in your upper body by developing your traps (upper back), medial delts (the sides of the shoulders), and your lats (the sides of the back).

Try this superset to build the V-Taper:

Groom workout - V-Taper Super Set

Keep it simple to slim down

There’s no tailoring for your face, so if you want to further enhance those elegant lines of your tux, a strong jaw line is a must! So it’s time to trim some body fat.

Every morning, set a timer for 10min, with the timer set to go off every minute (there’s plenty of free interval timers available for your smart phone for free). Every time the timer goes off, change exercises. When you’re done, write down the amount of reps you managed to do in the minute – and try to beat it the next day.

Try this fat trimming set:

Groom Workout - Fat Trim Super Set

 

Be patient

It takes time to get results – so keep it simple, start early and be patient! It’s about building it up over time, not quick results (and with wedding planning normally taking well over a year, you’ve got the time!)

Alpha Genesis is a personal training gym located in Dairy Flat on Auckland’s North Shore. Set up specifically to cater to you as an individual, the private environment allows them to get to know every client as a person. They’re committed to tailoring your work out to fit your goals, whether that be just entering into the world of fitness, or a battle hardened gym goer looking to be pushed further. Sign up for a free consultation so you can bring out your Alpha and become the best you can possibly be.

 

Getting in shape for your wedding day – the bridal edition

It seems to be just part of the process to lose weight for your wedding – but how can you do it in a way that doesn’t make wedding planning even more stressful, and doesn’t lead to you putting on the “newlywed ten” straight after the big day?

Owner of 101 Fitness, Melissa-Anne Smit, shares her top tips for getting in shape – and staying in shape.

Make small changes, not huge ones

When you’re planning a wedding, there’s already so much going on that it can be overwhelming. Start early so that you can make small lifestyle changes instead of feeling pressured to lose ten kilos in three months, and be patient with yourself – it does take time!

Don’t overdo it

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is over-training – working out every single day and never allowing their bodies to recover. Doing too much actually makes your body retain fat, so make sure you give yourself rest days in between big workouts for your body to rebuild. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy stores and optimise protein synthesis (the process of increasing the protein content of muscle cells, preventing muscle breakdown and increasing muscle size), enabling the truly positive effects of the workout to take place.

Find a solution to fit your personality

Before I got married, I thought that taking up running would be the best way to get in shape for the wedding day – and while it helped towards that, I hated absolutely every moment of it and gave it up the second Jay and I were married. If you want to get in shape without hating it – and keep up your good habits post wedding – it’s essential that you find a solution to fit your personality. Whether it’s long walks, dancing, weight training, or anything active you can think of – just go for something that you enjoy (or at the very least don’t hate!)

Pay attention to your muscles

Burning fat is not just about cardio. Sure, cardio may burn more calories than muscle building while you’re doing it – but your muscles will continue to burn calories 24/7. 500-1000 grams of extra muscle won’t make you look bulky, but will burn 10,000 calories more per month – and besides, toned looks so much better than flabby.

Up your liquid content – and not just water

Whether it’s your engagement party, having a few wines when planning the wedding with your girlfriends, or just being out for drinks on a Friday with the team from work, alcohol sure does dehydrate you. Whenever you have even just one drink, make sure you’re rehydrating yourself – and not just with water. Up your liquid content by making sure you’re eating watery foods, like spinach, zucchini, and potato – try having a hashbrown the next morning to rehydrate (but make sure you toast it instead of frying it)!

Always eat something small before events

Have you ever gone to the supermarket hungry? How did that turn out? Same deal applies when you show up to a party with a growling stomach and your mouth watering – you’ll make a bunch of unhealthy choices because everything looks “so good”. Make sure you eat something small – preferably protein – before you head off to any event or social opportunity.

Have an accountability partner

Whether it’s your fiancé, your maid of honour, or your mum – get someone to hold you accountable for whatever you say you’re going to do, whether it’s cutting down on sugar, going to the gym three times a week or popping out for a run each day before work. Even better, work out with them – you won’t want to let each other down and you may find that you end up getting better results if you’re a little competitive. That’s why we offer two on one personal training – it’s a fantastic way for you and your partner to get in shape together while still getting the personal touch.

101 Fitness is a special training concept based on high-intensity training for just 25 minutes once or twice a week. Personal training to fit into your schedule – they’ll have you looking toned and fit for your big day. And as a special offer for Honeypotters, come try two sessions for $29 and bring your groom or maid of honour for free! Call 09 940 7744 or email info@101fitness.co.nz to book (just mention this article!)

Getting creative: Our top 5 unique registry items

Now we’re at the end of our first big summer wedding season, we decided to look back on some of the more unconventional gift items we’ve seen on Honeypot. The beauty of using a cash wedding registry like Honeypot is you can add absolutely anything you can think of for your guests to contribute towards. Plus, you’re not tied to one shop or supplier. These creative couples certainly used that to their advantage! So let’s count down our favourites…

5) Donations towards a favourite charity

One generous couple added an item for their guests to give to an organisation of the couple’s choice instead of giving something for the couple themselves. If you feel somewhat uncomfortable about accepting gifts, this could be a lovely option for your guests to contribute towards a special cause.

4) Babysitting for the kids

For those getting married with young kids, weddings can be a bit of a stretch on the family budget. One couple added a babysitting fund so they could have some alone time on their honeymoon – what a good idea!

3) Vote for a honeymoon destination

This couple were struggling to decide on a honeymoon spot – so instead they set up a few different locations as items on their honeymoon registry. Whichever item ended up with the biggest fund would be the final destination!

2) A touch of nature

These Honeypotters had a big landscaping job planned for their new house. They had a huge list of different native plants to buy, and their guests certainly helped them achieve this!

1) New addition to the family

By far our favourite Honeypot item yet – a puppy! Who could resist contributing towards that, especially if you were guaranteed a cuddle in the future?!

We hope this list has provided you with some wedding registry inspiration. For more creative gift ideas, check out our alternative gift items blog. We can’t wait to see next year’s selection of registry items!

How to make your bicultural wedding special for both your families

Given that we live in such a multicultural society, it’s unsurprising that many couples are from different backgrounds and cultures. That’s why Honeypot co-founder Katie has put together her top tips for making a bicultural wedding a joy for all.

Shane and I got married in March last year. One of the aspects of our wedding I often get asked about is how we balanced and celebrated our two cultures; while we are both Kiwis, Shane’s family is Chinese Malaysian and mine is Pakeha. So let’s break it down – what are the top four things you need to consider when planning a bicultural wedding?

Managing and communicating expectations

It may sound obvious, but the real key to managing family expectations is communication. Early in our planning, we sat down with Shane’s family to discuss the cultural aspects. Shane, who has lived in NZ almost his entire life, would be the first to admit he was completely clueless about Chinese weddings!

One of our discussions got a little heated as Shane’s mum was certain we should do the tea ceremony (an important part of any Chinese wedding) the same day as our reception. The conversation went round and round, with us saying there just wasn’t time. Eventually we realised that my mother-in-law was assuming there wouldn’t be any other ceremony, since we weren’t getting married in a church. We had always planned to have an outdoor ceremony with a celebrant, but hadn’t communicated this at all!

Be prepared to compromise

I’m sure many couples planning weddings have needed to reach compromises between families, and bicultural weddings are no different. However, we are very lucky to have families who get along well and were happy to mix things up!


Chinese tea ceremony weddingFor us, the best compromise was to have two celebrations – this allowed us to have the western-style wedding we had planned, and then a tea ceremony and Chinese dinner with our families two days later. Thankfully Shane’s family did most of the planning for the Chinese dinner, leaving us time to plan the main event.

Having the two separate events meant everyone felt they were included and had a part to play. Shane’s relatives from Malaysia were invaluable at the tea ceremony, showing us the correct way to serve tea and explaining the meaning to my own family.

Don’t see it as a challenge – there are some serious benefits!

Bicultural weddings have their challenges, but the benefits far outweigh them! I think embracing both cultures helped to bring our families together in a meaningful way. Plus, who can complain about two parties (or getting to wear two dresses, amiright ladies)?!

My advice for multicultural couples

I’m sure there are plenty of other couples in a similar situation to us – maybe you also come from different cultures, or religions, or backgrounds. Whatever the case, my recommendation would be to have an honest discussion with your families about expectations early on in your planning. Like us, you may be surprised how much you or your partner will learn!

Our solution may not work for everyone, but there’s other ways to include both cultures. You could have two celebrants (or ministers, priests etc.), or ask a member from each family to do a reading of their choice. When it comes to choosing food, drink and music, make sure you have a few options to suit both cultures.

Last of all, enjoy yourself! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your partner to conform to other’s expectations – work out the compromise that works best for you and your loved ones so you can all have a great time!

How we used a honeymoon registry for our perfect honeymoon

It seems crazy that it was a year ago that Honeypot co-founders Katie & Shane got hitched and headed off on their honeymoon. We’ve had several people ask what kind of things they could use Honeypot for on their honeymoon, so Katie decided it was about time she shared a little about how they used it to have the most perfect honeymoon possible.

In April 2016, Shane and I set off on an amazing 4 week adventure. If you were going to choose a theme for our honeymoon, it would have to be “fire and ice” – we went from skiing in Japan to sunsets in Bali! However, it wouldn’t have been possible without our generous guests contributing to our Honeypot. We decided to make our wedding registry a mix of flights, accommodation, and special treats that we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford without help from our guests.

Here are a few of our highlights:

Staying in a luxury ski lodge

One of our Honeypot items was a stay in Kimamaya Lodge in Niseko, Japan. This boutique hotel was simply amazing. Some of our favourite aspects were personal shuttles to the chairlifts, a complimentary bottle of bubbles on arrival and two private onsen rooms (a Japanese hot pool tradition). We loved skiing in Japan so much we recently returned over New Year for a week!

Cherry blossoms in Kyoto

We timed our trip to Japan to coincide with the legendary cherry blossom season. Japanese people go absolutely NUTS for sakura! We saw cherry trees everywhere but the best spot has to be the ancient city of Kyoto, where there are temples and Japanese gardens galore.  Our guests contributed to a hanami party, a nightime picnic under lit up blossoms. I loved the scenery but I think Shane was more into the takoyaki (octopus balls!)

Experiencing Tokyo

We added a general item on our Honeypot for “Tokyo Spending Money”. This allowed us to really experience the craziness, beauty and hustle of Tokyo without having to plan too much in advance. Some of our favourite activities were visiting an owl café, seeing Tokyo from a bar on the 34th floor, and shopping in the massive department stores. Being squeezed onto a train with literally thousands of people at rush hour was less enjoyable, but still quintessentially Tokyo!

Cocktails in Bali

After three weeks in Japan, we needed a week to relax and kick back in Bali. After a stressful flight to Bali from Tokyo (piece of advice – always book excess luggage BEFORE you arrive at the airport!), it was wonderful to arrive to a cold drink at our hotel. I’m not ashamed to say we then proceeded to work through the entire list of cocktails throughout our stay at the Tanjung Sari, on Sanur Beach. Once again, our guests had contributed to this via Honeypot.

We sent out thank you notes when we got back, and heard from lots of guests that they loved the photos we included of us enjoying their contributions. Similarly, we hope everyone using Honeypot has an amazing honeymoon experience – we’d love to hear your stories, so if you’d like to share how you used your Honeypot registry, just get in touch!

Thing I wish I’d known before my wedding (or: confessions of a not-so bridezilla)

This week, Honeypot co-founder (and married nearly a year woman) Katie decided to look back on her 2016 wedding and give a few insights into what she wished she had known before getting married – hopefully it may help a few of our soon-to-be brides!

When we decided on this blog topic, I picked up a pen and paper. My first bullet point was EVERYTHING! The fact is, Shane and I have attended very few weddings prior to getting hitched, as we were among the first of our friends to get married. Early on we decided this was a positive, as we didn’t have any expectations to live up to. We were the wedding guinea pigs!

I certainly don’t consider myself to be a wedding expert – then or now. But I thought I’d share some words of wisdom that might have saved me a few grey hairs!

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Funnily enough, this was the advice I was given the most, and yet I still ignored! I was never a “bridezilla” (if anything, Shane was definitely a groomzilla at times!), but there were a few things I stressed about unnecessarily. For example, things like getting the wedding favours perfect. I spent AGES trying to decide what to do, ordering the containers, printing and cutting our messages – yet the guests were far more interested in the candy bar!

Book your florist early

We were pretty organised when it came to booking our venue, accommodation and photographer. But for some reason, we left it until 3 months before the wedding to book a florist. We quickly discovered that every florist we approached was booked out since we were getting married in the popular Easter weekend. Luckily for us, I happened upon the facebook page of Twig and Twine and found out they were available. It turned out to be the best last minute decision ever, but we could have saved some stress by organising this earlier!

Don’t stress over seating arrangements

Many people told us that seating arrangements can be challenging, and they were right! We had everything planned, but then received a few last minute RSVPs which meant we had to start over again. Our families both had specific ideas of how they thought it should go, which led to inevitable stress and late nights. Looking back, no one seemed too bothered by where they were seated, so long as they knew a few people around them. After all, they’re only there for dinner before heading to the dance floor!

Don’t rely on taxis

Our wedding was a magical, perfect and stress-free day. That is, until right at the end when our taxis failed to show up. I had booked in advance two minivans to take the bridal party and families back to our accommodation, but after 15 minutes of arguments over the phone with the taxi company, it was clear they weren’t coming. We were extremely lucky that the wedding venue was able to book us taxis through a different company, otherwise we would have been stranded in the middle of the Waitakere bush.

The fact is, our wedding was so fabulous that I can’t really regret anything about the day – but I’m sure the process could have been less stressful at times. I hope these pieces of advice come in handy and you have a wonderful, stress-free and above all FUN wedding!

Note: Thanks to the amazing Samantha Donaldson for our gorgeous wedding photos, including this one!

Wedding registries: How much should we ask for?

Ah, the age old question. Someone more sarcastic would come back with the classic dad answer “how long is a piece of string?” but we at Honeypot know that it’s actually a pretty tricky question!

Judging how much to ask for on your honeymoon or gift registry can be hard – you don’t want to ask for so much that you look greedy but you also don’t want to put so few items that people run out of things to give you.

Too many isn’t a thing

Well okay, if you put 500 different items on your registry, it MIGHT be a bit of overkill… But generally no-one’s going to be offended if you put heaps of options on your registry – after all, it allows them to choose something that they think would be special coming from them.

Assume everyone will give at least $50…

And then add in some leeway. While everyone may not be able to afford a huge amount, it’s likely that many will give at least $50 each, and some generous (often older) relatives could give even more. Therefore make sure you’ve added gifts that total an average of at least $50 per person coming to your wedding (and preferably add a bit more just in case).

Add a mix of small and bigger items

Everyone will give a different amount towards your wedding registry, so try to include a mix of both smaller items (such as cocktails on the beach or a dinner out) with bigger items (such as concert tickets or skydiving). That way people have lots of choice and can give at a level they feel comfortable with

Include a couple of big ticket items

Your guests may surprise you with how generous they are – so make sure you’ve always got a couple of big ticket items up your sleeve on your gift or honeymoon registry. This could be a lounge suite for $3000 or flights to Bali for $2000 – either way, it means that should the smaller, specific items be gifted already, there’s always an opportunity for guests to add to the pool of money for bigger items.

However many gifts you decide to add, don’t forget to make them things you really want, and thank your guests as soon as you can. It truly won’t matter how much you ask for if you show real appreciation for their generosity. And don’t forget – with Honeypot you can always add extra items later!